Monthly Archives: March 2007

SpaceNet, the interplanetary supply chain

I’m sure this will come in handy someday soon.  MIT researchers have created SpaceNet, a software tool for modeling interplanetary supply chains.

“Increasingly, there is a realization that crewed space missions such as the International Space Station or the buildup of a lunar outpost should not be treated as isolated missions, but rather as an integrated supply chain,” said [MIT researcher Olivier L.] de Weck.

While “supply chain” usually refers to the flow of goods and materials in and out of manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and retail stores, de Weck said that a well-designed interplanetary supply chain would operate on much the same principles, with certain complicating factors. Transportation delays could be significant–as much as six to nine months in the case of Mars–and shipping capacity will be very limited.

I can’t wait for the day when I can order spare parts online and have them delivered to my house on Mars.

[via Boing Boing]

British backtrack on Iraq death toll

British backtrack on Iraq death toll, from the Independent Online:

British government officials have backed the methods used by scientists who concluded that more than 600,000 Iraqis have been killed since the invasion, the BBC reported yesterday.

The Government publicly rejected the findings, published in The Lancet in October. But the BBC said documents obtained under freedom of information legislation showed advisers concluded that the much-criticised study had used sound methods.

The study, conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, estimated that 655,000 more Iraqis had died since March 2003 than one would expect without the war. The study estimated that 601,027 of those deaths were from violence.

sunny isn’t nearly so interesting anymore

You know the myth: “Housing prices in San Diego are so high because everyone wants to live here.”  It’s depressing if you want to buy a home, but it turns out it just isn’t true.  We’ve been losing more people than we’ve gained over the last four years, and it started just about the time housing prices started going up.

Catherine MacRae Hockmuth of Voice of San Diego has an interesting take on it:

…a society in which only 9.4 percent of the population can afford a median-priced home is not a healthy society. The situation is bad for businesses who struggle to attract workers whose money will stretch much further in places like Dallas or Atlanta. And before you offer up San Diego’s mantra — But then you have to live in Dallas or Atlanta — consider that people who live there like it well enough and they don’t have to do financial gymnastics to own homes there.

So here’s the question: since there isn’t an influx of people driving housing prices up (at least here), and if it’s not due to rising wages or inflation, then what’s the real cause?